The main BBC building in Salford Quays was evacuated this morning, interupting live programmes on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Manchester.
BBC Radio Manchester’s breakfast presenter Allan Beswick pondered for a couple of minutes, wondering what to do whilst talking over the audible studio fire alarm advising people to leave the building. Eventually, he left and non-stop music was played for around 10 minutes.
Downstairs in the same building, Quay House, Nicky Campbell left the building as producers played the back-up audio, advising listeners normal programmes are unavailable. Whilst outside he took the above photo for Twitter.
Instead, a pre-recorded interview between Richard Bacon and Karl Pilkington and Ricky Gervais played out.
5 live controller Jonathan Wall tweeted to say the station would be back on imminently. He then responded to tweets about the backup tape, saying “ricky gervais seems to have been a big hit! Rarely has the emergency tape prompted so much conversation.”
When asked how often the back-up audio is changed, Jonathan said every few weeks.
BBC Breakfast television was also evacuated, with the service switching to BBC World.
Hear the audio below:
Sorry about that! We're back on air now after the all clear from a fire alarm > http://t.co/UQMSd5CH9b
— BBC Radio 5 live (@bbc5live) May 9, 2014
Thanks to Jem Stone for compiling this Storify on the event!